Heysham

A serious incident at Heysham Nuclear Power Station has left three people injured in hospital. The men were injured in a serious industrial incident at the nuclear power station at 10.30pm last night. A spokesman for the EDF operated power station said an accidental ‘steam release’ at Heysham 1 caused high-temperature steam to escape. The spokesman said the steam was ‘clean’ and did not pose a threat to the public or the environment. She said: “This is not a common occurrence, and we do regard it as a serious incident due to the injuries to the three people on site. We do plan for these incidents and we have an emergency response team prepared for these types of incidents.

Leyland Guardian 20th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

Old Nuclear

What do we gain by breathing some extra life into these plants? Proponents say “zero-carbon emissions.” That’s if we choose to ignore the emissions associated with mining and processing uranium, building nuclear power stations, managing nuclear waste, and — on those rare but horrific occasions — dealing with the consequences of a major nuclear disaster.

Wbur 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

Cybersecurity

The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy publishes report on UK’s critical national infrastructure. The threat to the UK’s CNI is both growing and evolving. The cyber threat to the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI) – 13 sectors including energy, health services, transport and water – is as credible, potentially devastating and immediate as any other threat faced by the UK. However, the Government is not acting with the urgency and forcefulness that the situation demands. The Report on Cyber Security of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure says the UK’s CNI is a natural target for a major cyber attack because of its importance to daily life and the economy.Major cyber attacks are categorised by the Government as a top-tier threat to national security. As some states become more aggressive and non-state actors such as organised crime groups become much more capable, the range and number of potential attackers is growing.

Parliament 19th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 November 2018

Old Nuclear

On November 8, UCS released The Nuclear Power Dilemma: Declining Profits, Plant Closures, and the Threat of Rising Carbon Emissions, which found that more than one-third of existing nuclear plants, representing 22 percent of total US nuclear capacity, is uneconomic or slated to close over the next decade. Without new policies, we found that if these and other marginally economic nuclear plants are closed before their operating licenses expire, the electricity would be replaced primarily with natural gas. If this occurs, cumulative carbon emissions from the US power sector could rise by as much as 6 percent at a time when we need to achieve deep cuts in emissions to limit the worst impacts of climate change. Unfortunately, some of the media coverage and statements by the nuclear industry and other groups have mischaracterized our report and our past work. Here are seven points to correct the record: The report does not promote new nuclear power plant construction. The report does not advocate for subsidies for any specific nuclear plants. Existing nuclear plants must also meet strong safety standards to be eligible for support. Not every currently operating nuclear plant should stay open. Not every nuclear plant that retires early will be replaced with fossil fuels. UCS has long recognized the role of existing nuclear plants in reducing carbon. UCS has long supported a low carbon electricity standard (LCES), but not at the expense of renewable electricity standards (RES).

UCS 16th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 19 November 2018

Springfields

AS beleaguered shale gas explorer Cuadrilla starts fracking at Preston New Road (PNR) in Lancashire (pictured), it is being tripped up at every turn by unworkably low limits on seismic tremors set by nervous ministers who don’t dare now correct their mistake. Mainstream media treatment of this shambles is almost sympathetic: everyone can see Cuadrilla is being hamstrung by impracticable regulations. But while hacks hastily get to grips with “well integrity” and the awkward logarithmic scale by which earthquakes are measured, a radioactive elephant is sitting unremarked in a room just down the road. Only a dedicated handful of protesters mention an issue extending beyond small tremors 2,000 metres beneath a remote field. Huge trucks frequently rumble along Preston New Road itself, carrying highly toxic and corrosive uranium hexafluoride between Capenhurst in Cheshire and the Springfields nuclear facility five miles from the Cuadrilla site, to be converted into fuel for UK (and Russian) nuclear power plants and other uses. Springfields is probably a safe distance from the PNR fracking tremors, though the sheer number of extra trucks Cuadrilla brings on to the same country roads increases the risk of toxic traffic collisions.

Private Eye 16th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 17 November 2018

Springfields

A Government minister has reassured Lancashire’s nuclear fuels workers that they will have plenty of work – despite Toshiba’s decision to withdraw from the development of a site in Cumbria. Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark made the statement to Fylde MP Mark Menzies in Parliament after he asked him for assurances on their behalf. Toshiba officially withdrew from the process of developing the Moorside site in Cumbria last week.

Lancashire Evening Post 15th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 November 2018

Radhealth

RIFE 23: Annual assessment reports of radioactivity in food and the environment and the public’s exposure to radiation.

Environment Agency (accessed) 15th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 November 2018

Old Nuclear

Environmentalists must embrace nuclear power to stem climate change. The Union of Concerned Scientists has overturned its longstanding opposition to nuclear power. Other green groups should follow suit, says Mark Lynas.

New Scientist 15th Nov 2018 read more »

The Trump Administration’s proposal to bail out uneconomic coal and nuclear power plants is a bad idea predicated on a made-up problem. The real crisis we face is the climate crisis, as the recent IPCC report highlighted in stark terms last month. We must steeply reduce CO2 emissions over the next decade and beyond or we will lock in warming that will have disastrous consequences for people around the word.

UCS 13th Nov 2018 read more »

Why We Need Innovative Nuclear Power. Our future will depend on finding every possible source of reliable, carbon-free energy.

Scientific American 7th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 16 November 2018

Hunterston

Reactor 3 at Hunterston B remains offline, after being shut down since a routine inspection into cracks in its graphite core, in March. Cracking of the graphite bricks in Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors such as Hunterston B is expected as the reactors age. However, the number of cracks found during the inspection of Reactor 3 has led to the licensee, EDF Nuclear Generation Limited, carrying out further inspections of the core. Reactor 4 at Hunterston B was taken offline in October for an inspection of its graphite core. EDF Energy has submitted a safety case for Reactor 4 and is preparing one for Reactor 3. The safety cases will be assessed by us to determine whether the reactors are safe to return to service. Neither reactor may restart without our consent, which will be given only if it is safe to do so.

ONR 13th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 15 November 2018

ONR

In 2017, we introduced new Security Assessment Principles (SyAPs) for the civil nuclear industry, to help industry respond to ever-evolving challenges. With three dutyholders we’ve been piloting new SyAPS-aligned security plans. Our original proposal was for all dutyholders to submit revised plans to us by the end of 2018. However, it’s taking longer than expected for dutyholders to develop high quality plans and for us to assess them. We believe it’s more important to do this right than fast. We are giving dutyholders more time and more detailed guidance to develop their plans. We’ll also take a bit more time to assess plans. This means that the work will take longer than expected – we aim to have all plans approved by the end of 2020 – but we believe this is a more pragmatic approach. In the meantime, sites are working to their existing ONR-approved plans. These are different from the SyAPS-aligned plans – SyAPS plans will be less prescriptive, for example – but they are no less secure.

ONR 13th Nov 2018 read more »

Posted: 15 November 2018